From: Reuters
Published October 8, 2007 09:02 AM

Kashmir destroys rare hides to protect wildlife

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Wildlife authorities in Indian Kashmir have begun destroying thousands of animal hides and garments made from the skins of rare animals seized in a campaign to protect the region's wildlife, officials said on Monday.

"We destroyed nearly 10,000 hides and garments by setting them on fire yesterday ... this will continue for more than a week," said Rashid Y. Naqash, a wildlife warden.

"By destroying these rare animal skins and garments we are sending a tough message to poachers and traders across the country. I am sure this will help wildlife."

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Despite poaching being illegal, rare animals are still killed. These include snow leopards, tigers, deers, jackals, foxes, wolves and jungle cats whose furs fetch lucrative prices on the international market.

Kashmir, where tens of thousands of people have been killed in over 17 years of separatist revolt, was famous for taxidermy and in making fur garments before a global ban on the trade.

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